Heh. Don’t worry Spoz, it’s not as bad as all that. As others have pointed out, the main reason to bother with all this is for tax purposes. Agreed that it is really very simple to keep track of income and expenses, it’s whipping all that data into shape for the taxman that adds complications.
Our accountants have nothing but praise for Quickbooks, especially if you don’t carry any or much inventory. They use that for many of their other clients, and I hear that the best thing about it is that it’s very user friendly. Once you become familiar with any software, you will be able to do a lot of the work yourself, very easily. Most of the ‘work’ is simple data entry, putting your expenses into the program and the program keeps track of sales by generating invoices.
For our inventory-based business, we use Business Vision. It has a decent inventory module c/w Bills of Material for manufacturing. Useful for any kind of business that takes some sort of raw materials and turns them into some sort of finished product for sale. But there’s more than one way to skin even that cat.
Anyhow, any software generates an Income Statement based on what you put into it. The accountant will take that info and massage it into whatever shape will best reduce your tax liability.
One last thing: Find someone you like, are comfortable with and can develop an on-going relationship with. Your accountant can be your best friend, professionally speaking, I kid you not.